Mourning the old squidoo – time for me to post about my disappointments

In another community, very unrelated to Squidoo, I’m known as a bit of a controversial figure, a whistle blower if you will. I guess it’s time to voice my issues with the latest change.
To me it feels like we’ve been abandoned. All the changes in the past two months seem to have one aim only (consciously or unconsciously): the destruction of the Squidoo community spirit.

Fanclubs gone, squidcasts gone, lensrolling gone: it is back to the future. Squidoo is much more like a web 1.0 company now than a web 2.0 company.
The forum in volunteer hands only: it’s the last drop in the bucket for me. I am totally in support of more forum responsibility for lensmasters, however I don’t think it’s fair to expect volunteers to take on the full load. I think it’s totally logical to give lensmasters the responsibility to get rid of spam, for instance. So that on weekend days we don’t have to look at spammers filling the forum to the brink. I do NOT think it fair to just hand over the forum and expect us to manage it ourselves.

I mean let’s face it: most lensmasters are drastically underpaid by old economy standards. That’s alright if you see this as a hobby, but not so alright if the management doesn’t want to listen in on what we feel it necessary to complain about amongst ourselves. And that’s what they’re now basically saying: ‘we never meant the forum as a place for feedback, and now we will really stop listening’ is basically what Megan’s recent post translates into.

However, the advantage is, of course, that we are free to go. And I do think that choice is getting closer for me. Not as in deleting any lenses, but as in not creating as much new content on Squidoo as I used to. As in not responding to as many forum threads as I used to. Not helping as many people as I used to.
I guess my message is: alright, if HQ doesn’t appreciate what we’ve created here, why should I invest my time?

[quote]Here’s the schedule:  1. Write-ins are open until the evening of Wednesday June 1st at 11pm EST.  If you want to be considered for the Council, add your name here: https://squidoo.wufoo.com/forms/the-squidu-council
2. On Thursday June 2nd, we’ll post the full list of names here in SquidU and the members of SquidU can vote on the lensmasters they want on their Council. (Squidoo reserves the right to remove from the voting list anyone with lenses or demonstrated community actions that are in violation of our TOS).
3. On Friday June 3rd we will announce the successfully elected members of your new SquidU Council! They will receive moderator access to the forum, and will be introduced to each other so that they may decide how best to work together.  http://www.squidu.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=84025[/quote]

That was posted today! That’s less than 24 hours for people to respond! With time differences butting in, I’m not even sure I’m still within the deadline (not that I’m interested in the position of someone on the leadership council).

BTW: this means that from now on I’ll be posting my squidoo tips here, not on squidu any more.

Archiving the full post by Megan, because it’s clear that I can’t trust Squidoo HQ to save it:

Hi Squids! If you’re a SquidU forum regular, either as a silent reader or as a frequent poster, then this note is for you. We believe the future of this forum can be a bright one, and we think you’re going to be a huge part of making that happen.

BACK TO OUR ROOTS

The SquidU forum was originally created by Squidoo as a ‘lensmaster lounge’ — a place for lensmasters to meet, talk to each other and help each other with their Squidoo lenses. We at Squidoo are going back to our roots and putting lensmasters in charge of the forum.

That doesn’t mean anarchy though. It means we’re going to help you set up your first ever SquidU Leadership Council. The SquidU Leadership Council will be a community-elected group of lensmasters who will be given full moderator responsibility of the forum and challenged with the opportunity of working together to serve the community here.

It’s up to you, but we’re hoping the people who stand up for this opportunity — and the people you elect — will be experienced lensmasters, sober voices, generous leaders, and people who have earned reputations as respected SquidU members. We imagine the Leadership Council will be best filled by people who want to build on that credibility and would enjoy shaping SquidU into an even better community going forward.

IN THE HANDS OF THE SQUIDU LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

In the hands of the Council, the SquidU forum will operate independently of Squidoo, and will not be moderated by Squidoo employees. The goal for SquidU is to host a truly peer-driven space for conversation and lensmaster-to-lensmaster support.  A forum for lensmasters, run by lensmasters, which is what we dreamed of many years ago.

The Leadership Council members you elect will serve on their own time, at their own pace, should strive to live up to the promises they make to you here, and should collaborate together going forward to set systems and practices for moderating the SquidU forum, term limits, and other leadership as they see fit.

ELECTION PROCESS

We’re moving quickly to get your Council elected because we believe campaigning isn’t necessary; what matters is the reputation you’ve built up until today. Also, as with most things, when they’re important, they’re worth hurrying for.

Here’s the schedule:
1. Write-ins are open until the evening of Wednesday June 1st at 11pm EST.  If you want to be considered for the Council, add your name here: https://squidoo.wufoo.com/forms/the-squidu-council

2. On Thursday June 2nd, we’ll post the full list of names here in SquidU and the members of SquidU can vote on the lensmasters they want on their Council.
(Squidoo reserves the right to remove from the voting list anyone with lenses or demonstrated community actions that are in violation of our TOS).

3. On Friday June 3rd we will announce the successfully elected members of your new SquidU Council! They will receive moderator access to the forum, and will be introduced to each other so that they may decide how best to work together.

THE SQUIDTEAM STILL WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!

With the advent of the new SquidooHQ site, (http://www.squidoohq.com) lensmasters now have a consolidated, simpler place to read and digest ‘official’ news and ideas from the SquidooTeam, as well as share their views directly back with us on the topics at hand.  We’re blown away by the insights and feedback shared in the Comments sections of SquidooHQ so far. We’ll be developing more training materials for SquidooHQ, as well as running surveys and discussions there for lensmasters to speak up in.

We believe SquidooHQ will be a good place for active HQ-with-lensmaster communications, whereas the SquidU forum is the best place for lensmaster-to-lensmaster communications without us looking over your shoulders.

Here’s looking forward to your new SquidU Leadership Council! Good luck in the polls.

(P.S. You are encouraged to continue sending in Squidoo bug reports when something is broken, or feedback reports when you have an idea, as always. We always read those).

These are the new forum rules:

SQUIDU FORUM RULES

1. New to the Lensmaster Lounge? Introduce yourself. Share a little bit about who you are, and talk about what kinds of lenses you’re creating over on Squidoo.
2. Your SquidU username is the same as your Squidoo username. Anything you say or do here reflects on your reputation, well, everywhere.
3. No flaming, harassing, or maligning other users here. No spam either.
4. Feel free to post a comment in any discussion. Think twice and take a deep breath before posting something if you’re angry.
5. Before starting a new discussion, please check recent discussions to make sure you’re not posting on a redundant topic.
6. This isn’t the place to post bug reports or solicit admin action from Squidoo officials. This is a place to meet other lensmasters and get and share help about making Squidoo lenses.
Bonus: This is a community, just like the neighborhood you belong to offline. Day in and day out you’ll likely run in to the same faces, the same people, and many diverse opinions. It’s up to you to help make it a place you enjoy coming back to, by participating in discussions you enjoy and interacting with the people you respect.

This is what they were in 2007

*The Forum Rules.

Yep, rules. Read ’em. Abide by ’em. Or your sea creature powers may be revoked. Temporarily, or for good.

1. Thou shalt not spam the forums with multiple threads on the same topic.
2. Thou shalt not flame, harass, denigrate, spam, malign, or otherwise finger-point and name-call at other lensmasters, Citizens or moderators. This one’s a biggy.
3. Squidstaff love interacting with smart front-line people, so they stop by the forums from time to time to hear your ideas and share updates. The SquidU boards are not intended, however, to be a place to post bugs or solicit admin action. Please send those requests through our feedback link.
4. The SquidU forum is a place for lensmasters to interact, to share ideas and inspiration (and yes, gripes… maybe another lensmaster can help) and have fun with their lenses.
5. Want to submit a forum rule for #5? Send it in to squidsupport [at] squidoo.com.

This is what they were last year:

*The Forum Rules.

Yep, rules. Read ’em. Abide by ’em. Or your sea creature powers may be revoked. Temporarily, or for good.

1. New to the lounge? Get started here. Learn which category to post your note in, and create a forum signature.
2. Spam: just don’t do it. Thou also shalt not fill the forums with multiple threads on the same topic or sockpuppet.
3. Thou shalt not flame, harass, denigrate, spam, malign, or otherwise finger-point and name-call at ANYONE. This one’s a biggy. This too can get you banned.
4. Squidstaff love interacting with smart front-line people, so they stop by the forums from time to time to hear your ideas and share updates. However, this isn’t the place to post bugs or solicit admin action. Please send those requests through our feedback link.
5. The SquidU forum is a place for users to interact, to share ideas and inspiration (and yes, gripes… maybe another lensmaster can help) and have fun with their lenses. Try searching for an answer or visiting The Answer Deck.

13 thoughts on “Mourning the old squidoo – time for me to post about my disappointments”

  1. Another social concept they got rid of a couple years ago was Groups, and their replacement never really took off. I see this as another step backward for Squidoo, although, as an outsider looking in, I believe they are getting ready for new ownership.

    I’m thinking hard about turning in my angel wings and the main reason I went to the forum was to read the Megan’s Morning Coffee and the Official Announcements, which are not there anymore. It is time to spend some time elsewhere.

    1. Groups were never really a social thing – they were meant as a social thing, but they functioned as link dumps.

      I totally agree it’s a step back for squidoo and yes, maybe it IS a getting ready for new ownership. Though I don’t see how getting rid of fanclubs would make it more suitable for a new owner.

  2. I am not really aware about the changes on the SquidU forum, the post seems focused on the new rules of the forum, but I really like the new look and feel of Squidoo.

    I do miss the Squid Casts – as they were good for SEO, I guess they are setting up a new domain to resolve that issue. Fan Club and Lensrolling features didn’t mean much to me. I guess they are trying to improve the site.

    1. I don’t think squidcasts were very important from an SEO perspective.

      Getting rid of lensroll though will change Squidoo SEO for loads of lensmasters (Though not for me).

  3. Katinka, yours is the first name that came to my mind when I read Megan’s post this morning. I hope you’ll consider sticking around and putting your name in the running. I think the forum, in any form, could really use your positive influence as well as expertise.

    I’d like to think that Squidoo isn’t just abandoning us as lensmasters, but perhaps they’re grasping at straws to try to return some of the atmosphere that we used to have there. I’m not sure this is the answer, but I don’t have an alternative to suggest. Of course I’m asking you to consider stepping up as a leader on the forum when I myself have no desire to do so, so perhaps that isn’t fair of me. I certainly do respect your point of view and your decision, whatever it is. Just keep writing this blog! I hate to lose touch with so many lensmasters of great talent and character.

    1. I appreciate you thinking of me, I’m flattered.

      One reason I feel so put out by the forum changes is that I did actually put up my name as a forum moderator before they even decided they wanted any… but the setup is such that I’m sure it’s going to be too heavy a responsibility.

      So I’m not in fact volunteering. I’d be happy to nib spam in the bud. I’m not happy to take on the responsibility of another community to run – in fact I know the load would be too much.

      As for the ‘community they used to have’… well, with scale going up, of course the community has changed. As I have said in the forums before: this community is still the best one I know online.

      Which is perhaps precisely why I care so much that they seem to be destroying it.

      I’ve noticed before that Megan and co. seemed to be living in another world from mine, as when they wrote a survey that didn’t make sense at all to me. However, that wasn’t much of an issue when Squidoo as a whole seemed to be on a course I could live with.

      Now it’s no longer on such a course.

  4. I have always enjoyed the constant changes at Squidoo – seeing them as improvements and believing “they know more than I do”. But I have to admit that lately I am feeling a disconnect between staff and lensmasters. The new Squidoo HQ page is very helpful and one of the most positive things to come out of all this.
    Like many others, I have been concerned about the forum for some time. SquidU was so helpful to me when I joined Squidoo. I cannot imagine that I would have stayed without it.
    I will take a “wait and see” attitude about the new forum. But I definitely would not want to be a moderator.
    I am so glad you wrote this and let us know what you are thinking, Katinka. I am thankful you have this blog!

  5. You quoted Megan as saying, “With the advent of the new SquidooHQ site, (http://www.squidoohq.com) lensmasters now have a consolidated, simpler place to read and digest ‘official’ news and ideas from the SquidooTeam, as well as share their views directly back with us on the topics at hand.” Emphasis mine. And that’s the crux for me. It’s not an “open mike” forum where we can bring up what WE want to talk about. We can only discuss what THEY bring to the table. Interesting isn’t it? We can file bug reports, yes. But what about beginning a dialogue or asking questions or making suggestions?
    It has the appearance of communication, but if I can’t choose a topic to discuss, it it truly communication? (Sounds dictatorial to me.)
    And another thing. Did anyone notice that right after thrivingmom mentioned needing a black box color to match Algae theme that we got it? She wrote that in the forum, the forum that HQ is not reading anymore. Right… They ARE reading. They just don’t want to be expected to RESPOND to us. They are wresting back control from the masses who were close to a revolution.
    Wonder if their strategy will work.

    1. Yes, it felt awesome to receive such a fast response to my request and then to turn around and almost immediately inform us that they no longer plan to listen to us was a huge shock.

  6. I’m taking a huge step back from SquidU myself. I was completely blind sided by the negative treatment I received from one of the council members. I feel that I’ve been a helpful contributor in the Squidoo community and to be called “shady” in a public forum by a council member no less has almost been the last straw for me. The censorship now is intense. Active threads being deleted or locked with no warning or reasoning. One of my own threads was deleted, which was a total shock to me. I’m afraid to even contribute to SquidU now.

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